Features MGOCSM News

Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim calls for instilling sense of holiness among families

BANGALORE : “The faithfull should try and instill an environment of holiness and sanctity among families which will help spread this to the society as a whole,” said Metropolitan Dr Abraham Mar Seraphim while inaugurating the “MGM Counselling Centre” on June 26 in Banaswadi, Bangalore.

The metropolitan was also felicitated on his maiden visit to Bangalore after his recent consecration as a Bishop of the Malankara Orthodox in May.

“Every body should be ready to partake in this sacred environment and play an effective role. Besides this, we must also help the elderly and be able to inculcate among children values of truth and holiness,” the young metropolitan added.

The MGM Counselling Centre is a project of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM)’s student and youth counseling centre which will aid students, couples and the elderly.

Dr Seraphim Metropolitan had consented to inaugurate the centre in his capacity as the former general secretary of MGOCSM of India.

The function was organized by the Karnataka Chapter and Bangalore Diocese MGOCSM.

Shri K J George, Congress MLA of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Sarvagna Nagar Constituency inaugurated the meeting.
Cor-episcopos Abraham Marettu, presided over the function.

Cor-episcopos T K Thomas, George Thomas, ABM Director Jebi Cherian, Fr Mathews Daniel, MGOCSM Chapter, Karnataka Chapter, Fr DR Paul T Varghese and others also spoke.

Picture courtesy: Malayala Manorama

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WCC general secretary to meet Russian Patriarch Kirill

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit will pay an official visit to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, on 27-29 June.

In his first travel to Moscow as WCC general secretary, Tveit will meet with Patriarch Kirill on Monday, 28 June. The Patriarch is the head of the WCC member church with the highest number of members. They will have conversations on the calling and the role of the WCC in response to Christ’s call to be one, focusing on the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in the WCC. Recent developments in the ecclesial and the ecumenical landscape will be also on the agenda, especially with regard to the churches’ common Christian witness and interreligious dialogue, among other issues.

“I look forward to this important meeting with His Holiness and the Russian Orthodox Church and with the Russian society, and to learn more about the mission and the vision of the Russian Orthodox Church, particularly concerning their contribution to the ecumenical movement and as member of the WCC,” said Tveit in advance of the visit.

The programme of the visit includes, among other activities, attending Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin, meeting the chairman of the Department for Church Charity and Social Services the Very Rev. Arkady Shatov, a visit to the St Dimitry School of Sisters of Charity, and encounters with officials of the Russian government.

Patriarch Kirill has been deeply involved in the ecumenical movement since his youth. As a 22-year old delegate, he participated at the WCC 4th Assembly in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1968. From 1971 to 1974 he was representative of the Moscow Patriarchate to the WCC. Between 1975 and 1998 he was a member of the WCC central and executive committees. As the chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Department for External Relations between 1989 and his enthronement as patriarch in February 2009 Kirill played a key role in the advancement of a variety of ecumenical initiatives.

Tveit will be accompanied by the WCC deputy general secretary Georges Lemopoulos, as well as WCC staff members Rev. Dr Dagmar Heller (ecumenical theological education), Rev. Sabine Udodesku (spirituality and worship) and Fr Dr Daniel Buda (church and ecumenical relations).

Following the encounter of the two leaders, the Russian Orthodox Church will host the annual meeting of the Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration which has the responsibility for continuing the dynamic of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC.

The Russian Orthodox Church joined the WCC in 1961 and became its largest member church. Five of its representatives currently sit on the council’s 150-member Central Committee.

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Fr. Varghese Varghese to Lead the Student Community of Malankara Church

KOTTAYAM: Catholocos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Marthoma Didymus I appointed Fr. Varghese Varghese Meenadom as the General Secretary of the oldest Orthodox student movement of the world, namely, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Students Movement, MGOCSM. Fr. Varhgese Varghese hails from the Kalloor family, Meenadom, Kottayam.

Fr. Dr. V.M. Abraham, the previous General Secretary of MGOCSM, got consecrated as Metropolitan on May 12, 2010 and Fr. Varghese Varghese’s appointment is to fill the vacancy thereby created. Fr. Varghese’s tenure is for three years.

Fr. Varghese Varghese was the General Secretary of the Orthodox Christian Youth Movement from 2003- 2005. He has also served Malankara Church in the capacity of Media Cell Chief. Fr. Varghese is one of the highly sought after convention speakers in the Church. He had visited various countries to preach the Gospel and had attended many international conferences too, representing the Malankara Church.

It is widely hoped that Fr. Varghese Varghese, a renowned speaker and organizer, will lead the student community of our Church into the depths of 21st Century with a new and wider vision.

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K. Babu honored for Meritorious Services by Govt. of India

NEW DELHI: Indian Union honored K. Babu for his meritorious services for the Indian Border Security Force. K. Babu is at present serving as the private secretary to the Director General, BSF at New Delhi.

Union Minister P. Chidambaram conferred the medal to K. Babu at a special event that took place at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on May 21, 2010.

K. Babu joined the BSF in 1973 and has served at various states in India all through the 37 years of service to the nation. He was conferred with awards for exemplary services three times in the past. Earlier on Independence Day 2007, K. Babu was awarded with Police Medal for meritorious services by the President of India.

Babu is member of the St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Sarith Vihar, New Delhi. He hails from the Thekkethil Puthenveettil family of Kottarakkara Kizhakketheruvu and is son of late Kunchandy and Thankamma. Susheela is his wife and has two children, Subu (Qatar) and Subi (Delhi).


Madras Orthodox Choir

June 20, 2010 — First time in the history of Malankara Orthodox Church where 12 independent church choirs have united to form one single choir in Chennai on 20th June 2010 in the presence of Dr. Yuhanon Mar Diascoros, Metropolitan-Chennai Diocese and trained by Fr M P George, Director-Sruthi School of Liturgical Music, Kottayam, at the St Peter and St Pauls Church, Koyambedu, Chennai, India

(Video) Courtesy: Mohan Daniel

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Move to Consecrate Bishop Gurgan as Patriarch

ATLANTA: Malayala Manorama, the leading Malayalam daily, reports that there is a move within the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church to consecrate Bishop Mor Severios Moses Gurgan as the new patriarch. At present, Bishop Mor Severios Gurgan is at the helm of the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church.

The report also says that there is move to consecrate five more priests as bishops. Mor Severios Moses Gurgan had recently consecrated two priests as bishops. Last week, Fr. C.G. Mathews, who was member of the Orthodox Church, was consecrated as Mathews Mar Gregorios and Ramban Youhanon, who belonged to the Patriarchal faction, was consecrated as Youhanon Mar Thimotheos.

There is report in the Malayala Manorama of the same day that another priest was professed as Ramban. This report is also causing raised eyebrows.

One Metropolitan from the Patriarchal faction is also alleged to join the five already existing bishops of the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church. It is also understood that there is possibility of another Catholicos from Kerala after the Patriarchal consecration.

Bull from the Catholicos of the East that clearly stating the stand of Malankara Orthodox Church on this issue is already on its way to Chrurches.

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The Church Does not Approbate the Recent Bishop Consecration at New Delhi: Catholicos of the East

KOTTAYAM: Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan made the stand of Orthodox Church clear on the recent bishop consecration at New Delhi through Bull No 300/2010, issued from the Catholicate Palace Kottayam on June 19, Saturday.

“It came into our attention from news media that Severios Moses Gurgan, who is not recognized by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, had consecrated one of the priests as bishop. This is against the Constitution of the Church and further, this priest is not elected to be consecrated as a bishop by the Malankara Association, nor is it approbated by the Holy Episcopal Synod. We strictly order not to let such people enter into Churches of Malankara, nor to welcome them with honor and respect that befit an Episcopos, nor to attend any of the prayers or any spiritual events, where such people are giving leadership. If anyone acts there against, we will consider it as an act of indiscipline and as a challenge against the spiritual authority that the fathers have divinely vested upon us as the supreme head of the Holy Church. We will impose disciplinary actions against such people. This order is also valid for all members of the Malankara Church, who get ordained to any ecclesiastical positions either by Severios Moses Gurgan or any one, whom he has consecrated. We consider the spiritual and temporal discipline of the Church extremely important and hence seek all our beloved spiritual children of the Church to refrain from such activities. We further affectionately demand you all, not to have interactions with anyone, who attempt to create any kind of unrest in the Church”, says the Catholicos of the East in his Bull.

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Controversial Bishop Consecration Will not be Recognized: JOSC

KOCHI: Episcopal Synod Secretary of the JOSC, Metropolitan Joseph Mar Gregorios said that anyone, who is a member of the JOSC, but accepts any ecclesiastical position at any other Church, will be banned from the JOSC. This statement gathers attention in the context that a JOSC member got consecrated as bishop from Primate of the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Mor Severios Moses Gourgan.

Metropolitan Mar Gregorios carried on to say that Ramban Youhanon had no connection with JOSC. Ramban Youhanon, hailing from Rajakumari, Idukki Dist., Kerala was one among the two bishops, whom Bishop Moses Gourgan consecrated last week at New Delhi

Metropolitan Gregorios raised further questions on the legal correctness of banned people consecrating others. His Church does not consider similar events with any seriousness. He moreover demanded that the MOSC shall make its policies clearer on this issue.

‘People adopting any means to get to the bishopricate is a disgrace to the whole Christianity’, said Thampu George Thukalan, JSOC Sabha Secretary. ‘True Christians can not accept a move to create a new Church’, he further exclaimed.

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Consecration of St. Gregorios Church Queens on Friday and Saturday

NEW YORK: Consecration of the newly reconstructed St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Queens, New York is planned to be for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 25, 26, 27, 2010. St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Queens is under the Diocese of North-East America.

Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios will be the chief celebrant. Metropolitan of the Diocese of North-East America Mathews Mar Barnabas, Auxiliary Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholavos, Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kandanadu West and Secretary of the Holy Episcopal Synod Dr. Mathews Mar Severios and Metropolitan of the Diocese of South-West America Alexios Mar Eusebius will assist the Catholicos Elect at the consecration.

It is planned to offer a colorful reception to the Catholicos Elect and to the Metropolitans at 6.00 pm on Friday, June 25. Evening prayers will begin thereafter, which will be followed by the first part of the consecration. On Saturday, June 26th, morning prayers will begin at 7.00 am. Thereafter the second part of the consecration and Holy Qurbana will take place. A public meeting and luncheon are planned also on the same day after consecration services. Priests, deacons, cultural and political leaders as well as a large body of faithful from various Churches of New York will attend.

Catholicos Elect Metropolitan Paulose Mar Milithios will celebrate Holy Qurbana at the

newly consecrated St. Gregorios Church, Queens on Sunday, June 27th, 2010 and the service will begin at 9.00 am.

St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Queens, New York was established in 1977 and at present there are 65 families associated with the Church. Metropolitan Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios consecrated the first Church building in 1998. That building is now reconstructed and is made ready for consecration.

For More Details:

Very. Rev. Yesudasan Pappan Cor-Episcopa (Vicar): 718.934.1636 Rajan George, (Treasurer): 631.968.5345 John Varghese (Secretary): 516.796.5320 Benny, Varghese ({Publicity Coordinator): 516.603.3248 Church Website :

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Bangalore Diocese is the best, claims Dr Abraham Mar Ephiphanios

BANGALORE : Dr Abraham Mar Ephiphanios, Assistant Metropolitan, Bangalore Diocese, has remarked that if he was asked which of the Diocese was performing better, he would point to the Bangalore Diocese as the best.

As Assistant Head of the Bangalore Diocese, Dr Ephiphanios Metropolitan was addressing the church gathering after the Holy Qurbana during his first-ever visit to the St Gregorios Orthodox Church in Mathikere Extension last week. Presently, Bangalore Diocese is under the direct control of the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan. He expressed confidence that he will be able to retain Bangalore Diocese or Sultan Batthery or wherever when the Holy Synod meets in August.

Metropolitan praised the faithful of the Bangalore Orthodox community and was confident that the diocese will outperform its target to the Catholicate Day collection for the current financial year. He expressed his happiness over the elevation of the Orthodox church in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) as a Gregorian pilgrim centre and the consecration of a new church in Sharjah soon. Both Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, two of the seven emirates which make for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fall under Bangalore Diocese at present.

The ‘Videshi Metropolitan’ which Dr Ephiphanios himself claims due to his NRI status, in his address praised the unity and sagacity of the Christians in Ichlamnpady, a tribal hamlet, on the Bangalore-Mangalore Highway. The Metropolitan gave a brief account of his life in Malaysia and how he dreamt of a monastic life right from his student days (standard V). Their residence in the province was frequented by bishops who resided during their visit and the young metropolitan was enamoured by the saffron coloured robes during his childhood days. That clamour for ‘saffron’ continued and Metropolitan made it as a companion in life getting closer to God.

Mar Ephiphanios who recently visited Ichlamnpady twice and took part in the Gregorios Festival held the faithful worshippers in high esteem for their dedication and unity despite odds. They had raised Rs 14 lakh during the festival and are in the process of building their own church on a plot donated by an old man. This old man, a good Samaritan, voluntarily donated his piece of land, when he saw a crying Metropolitan about the plight of the bad condition of the ‘so called church.’

Dr Abraham Mar Ephiphanios will soon visit the remaining two churches out of the 12 Orthodox churches in Bangalore.